Monday, August 18, 2014

Cajun Style Ooey Gooey Green Bean Casserole

Sometimes you just need something warm and comforting that barely counts as healthy. This has got lots of green beans and veg that adds flavor, but the predominate feature is the cream. Yummy rich cream that bakes into a gooey delight. Make this for yourself the next time you want something decadent, but want to at least get some nutrients with all of that fat. I was inspired by an episode of Diners Drive-ins and Dives feature on the Old Coffeepot Restaurant's Big Easy Green Bean Casserole. That recipe is here on the food network website, but you must always remember that no one tries those before they post the video, so they always need some adaptation. My version uses vinho verde instead of sherry and coconut oil instead of butter. The idea of using artichoke hearts and bell peppers in the stock base was brilliant and gave this a true Cajun flavor, that I love! I left out the carrots to keep the sweetness down and didn't regret it.

Cajun Style Ooey Gooey Green Bean Casserole
1 pound green beans, trimmed and snapped in half
1 quart heavy cream
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1/4 cup artichoke heart bottoms, diced
1/4 cup bell peppers, diced
1 small onion, diced
2 large stalks celery, diced
1/2 cup cremini mushrooms, diced
1/2 cup white wine(I used vinho verde, just go with what you have)
2 cups vegetable stock (maybe the Joe Yonan version you made at home)
1 tablespoon corn starch
1/2 cup cold water
1/2 cup bread crumbs
2 tablespoons salt

Add coconut oil to the bottom of a large dutch oven or other deep pot with onions, celery, bell pepper, and artichoke heart bottoms with a teaspoon of salt. After the vegetables have a golden brown to them, add the white wine and green beans and continue to stir until about 1/2 of the liquid has evaporated. Add the vegetable stock and another tablespoon of salt and simmer for 10 minutes (green beans should be getting soft). Turn on your oven and set to 350 degrees so it has time to pre-heart. Turn the heat to low and add the cream and stir at which point the mixture will look a lot like a cream of mushroom soup with green beans in it.

While that mixture is on low, combine the cold water with corn starch to make a slurry. Slowly stir it into the pot to thicken the mixture. Pour the whole thing into a casserole dish and sprinkle with breadcrumbs before popping it into oven for 15 minutes, allowing the top to get a golden brown cover. Serve in a bowl and enjoy!

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